Running late! But here’s the scoop announcing the cast for our holiday spectacular, A Christmas Story, The Musical! Paramount’s production stars Michael Harp as little “Ralphie” with his parents played by Danni Smith as his “Mother” and Michael Accardo as “The Old Man.” Philip Earl Johnson is the narrator “Jean Shepherd,” who presides over this cast of 31 of which 21 actors, including our leads, are making their Paramount debut! Directed by Nick Bowling and choreographed by Rhett Guter with Music Director Tom Vendafreddo conducting the 17 member Paramount Orchestra playing the full original Broadway orchestrations, this A-list team has got me stoked! Let me tell ya more about the principal players.
Young Michael Harp (Ralphie) literally brought down the house in Drury Lane’s Billy Elliot as Billy’s best pal, “Michael,” an acting, singing, dancing, genuine triple threat! I swear I’ve never seen anything like this young man’s skills! Danni Smith plays his Mom and has got a collection of Jeff Awards performing a stunning range of roles from The Wild Party to Jesus Christ Superstar with Always Patsy Kline to boot! I go way back with Mike Accardo to 2005’s The Full Monty, directing his “Harold” in a knock out performance that opened downtown Chicago’s The Broadway Playhouse, which was then Drury Lane Water Tower Place. Mike has a resume as long as your arm with film and TV credits and regional theatre roles including Marriott’s “Thenardier” in Les Miz and the world premiere of Beaches at Drury Lane. The character of “Jean Shepherd” is actually a representation of the author of the original novel and serves as the narrator of this musical in the hands of extraordinary Philip Earl Johnson, outstanding in Writers Theatre’s Dance of Death and playing “Joe Pitt” in the national tour of the Tony Award winning Angels in America. There’s Ericka Mac as “Miss Shields” singing and dancing up a storm with an all-star Ensemble: Aubrey Adams, Audrey Billings, Aaron Choi, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis, Jason Grimm, Jillian Jocson, Mark David Kaplan, Matthew Keffer, Alanna Lovely, Erin McGrath, Jason Richards, Summer Smart, Holly Stauder and Dana Tretta. Drop dead musical theatre chops here, folks!
Young Theo Moss rules as Ralphie’s little brother “Randy,” and here’s the list of the gang of kids playing “Ralphie’s Pals,” who completely blew us away at the auditions: Blake Austin Barnickel, Cody Bolithon, Grier Burke, Michael Di Leo, Samantha Marie Erne, Ricky Falbo, Eloise Lushina, Tyler Martin, Peyton Shaffer and Reid Patrick Tomasson. These pros are rock stars and take no prisoners!
We’ve got an illustrious production and design team for you: Scenic Designer Jeff Kmiec, Costume Designer Sally Dolembo, Lighting Designer Jesse Klug, Media Designer Michael Stanfill, Sound Designer Adam Rosenthal, Wig and Make-up Designer Katie Cordts, Properties Director Sarah Ross, Fight Choreographer Matt Hawkins, Assistant Director Trent Stork, Stage Manager Sara Gammage and Assistant Stage Manager Amber Johnson.
A marvelous holiday gift for you, dear reader, with love from Paramount Theatre!
Love & thanks,